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Old 10-16-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
Siljrath
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the quest for the lightest window manager.


this thread is for taking it to the extreme...

do we just run on bare X?

i'm thinking dwm, twm, and wm2 style light.

is there lighter? and which is the lightest.

features not important. only lightness, so light you could run it on the most ancient of machines...


what's the lightest out there?

specifically for my case:
i've been looking a while.
one use i plan to put my discovery to is my gimpstick a usb install of just enough to run gimp (thought about calling it jerg. ) and i want to squeeze the most out of old hardware for the gimp, so, which is it? which is the lightest and will enable the correct layout display of gimp?

tho im sure this collaboration of knowledge will help others too of course. the way of the forum.

Last edited by Siljrath; 10-16-2009 at 10:10 AM.
 
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
XavierP
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I suspect that twm is the lightest - it comes built into X and has no features at all!
 
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
pixellany
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Actually, I guess there are quite a few opportunities for SW that consumes almost no resources and----does almost nothing!!

Is twm what you get if have nothing in /etc/inittab or ~/.xinitrc and you just type "startx"? I've always admired the simplicity and elegance of the 3 terminal windows---not to mention the impression of being TOTALLY USELESS!!....
 
Old 10-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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DWM is the lightest, followed by TWM. You can go for an old version of DWM, it is even lighter.
 
Old 10-16-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siljrath View Post
this thread is for taking it to the extreme...

do we just run on bare X?

i'm thinking dwm, twm, and wm2 style light.

is there lighter? and which is the lightest.

features not important. only lightness, so light you could run it on the most ancient of machines...
I'll name a few WM's during this post, but really, even the most ancient hardware that can run linux (that's i386) can run without a single problem much heavier WM's.

Quote:
what's the lightest out there?
Probably one of these: 9wm, aewm/aewm++, antiwm, dwm, larswm, quark, ratpoison or tinywm. Maybe also windowlab and evilwm. From between these, the most feature rich are ratpoison and dwm without a doubt and by far, they are also the less conventional ones and pretty much depend on the keyboard to a big extent.

There are probably some other projects that I am not aware of, and this might be subject to some parameters like architecture, compilation time flags and some system specific settings.

Quote:
specifically for my case:
i've been looking a while.
one use i plan to put my discovery to is my gimpstick a usb install of just enough to run gimp (thought about calling it jerg. ) and i want to squeeze the most out of old hardware for the gimp, so, which is it? which is the lightest and will enable the correct layout display of gimp?
I would choose whatever suits the job better. gimp is going to use hundreds of MBs of ram, and, sincerely, the fact that your WM takes 200kb or 4MB or ram is completely pointless here. It's a drop in the middle of the ocean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
I suspect that twm is the lightest - it comes built into X and has no features at all!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elv13 View Post
DWM is the lightest, followed by TWM. You can go for an old version of DWM, it is even lighter.
Twm was never been an example of elegant and efficient code. In fact, in the past fvwm was originally forked from twm (thanks to Robert Nation) as a reaction to the low quality and all the bugs and performance problems that it had. Nowadays twm is stable and a lot of leaks and problems have been fixed, but it's still not the lightest wm around. In terms of resource usage, twm is more in the league of fluxbox or fvwm I think (haven't tested lately I'll admit), which is in the middle range. It's takes only slightly less resources than these, while having almost zero features. That qualifies it for the worst WM ever

dwm is one of the lightest, and it's a good compromise between features and weight. But my personal bet would be fvwm. You can get it running with a very small memory footprint if you compile it without xtf, png, svg and all the goodies if you don't need them. This adds only aesthetic goodies. And you will still have access to all the power of fvwm without these.
 
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:07 PM   #6
XavierP
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That told me!! Having said that, I haven't seen twm for several years - apart from when I messed up my DE install and got dropped into it by accident
 
Old 10-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
aus9
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hi

I am not an expert on lightness...but I use LXDE.

I was wondering if the OP had given consideration...on target hardware...what kernel and distro they were going to use?

Ideally you want something that is recent and designed for 386?...unless the OP says that no internet is required.
 
Old 10-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #8
linus72
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also
what about jwm??

how is jwm compared to the others?
 
Old 10-17-2009, 03:15 AM   #9
H_TeXMeX_H
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I vote for: ratpoison, tinywm, antiwm. Those are probably some of the lightest, with tinywm probably being the lightest.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #10
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
also
what about jwm??

how is jwm compared to the others?
It's somewhere in between the light ones and twm/fvwm/*box.
 
Old 11-24-2010, 12:28 AM   #11
Siljrath
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reviving the discussion, since no clear winner has been found.

more serious contenders perhaps?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Catwm
claims to be even lighter than dwm!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic...onment_Manager
found this when on a whim, reading up about windows1.0, and i noticed it's GPL! i wonder if anyone has it running in linux.

http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2009/09...nd-words-10mb/
i just noticed musca hasnt been mentioned here yet!

http://sourceforge.net/projects/uwm/
found this while looking for uwm from ude fame.

http://udeproject.sourceforge.net/
uwm from the ude. unix-philosophy window management. one job, well.
 
Old 03-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #12
Siljrath
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Lightbulb

:O

:O

:O

FBUI
http://home.comcast.net/~fbui/

doesnt use X!

:O

framebuffer ui. x-less gui! the dream. ^_^

this is a whole new level of performance.
 
  


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